Last night I had the chance to attend a one night only performance of Anthony Wilkinson’s off-Broadway show, My Big Gay Italian Wedding, at the gorgeous, historic St. George Theatre in Staten Island. Writer/lead actor Wilkinson led the charming cast in a hilarious story of a young, gay Italian man’s quest to have the perfect wedding. (The title sort of says it all!) Intrigue, drama, musical numbers and a hyperventilating mother ensues! It’s a show that plays with cultural stereotypes of both Italians and the LGBT community and just goes the extra mile and has fun with it.
Coming from a wacky ethnic family myself, a lot of the tropes rang true. But I have to admit one thing: I do not understand The Chicken Dance AT ALL.
At the crux of the story is neurotic Anthony’s desire to marry Andrew, the biggest player in Brooklyn (now reformed). Andrew was played by One Life to Live‘s Scott Evans (Fish), who wasn’t the only soapster involved in the process. Wilkinson is an associate director on OLTL, while MBGIW‘s co-directors Sonia Blangiardo and Teresa Anne Cicala are at ATWT and OLTL respectively. With that in mind, it’s no wonder the production was so soapy!
I had a really wonderful time. Evans got to showcase his singing voice, which, as my colleague and I learned from his awesome mother, Lisa Evans, was what led him into theatre in the first place. (She makes her OLTL debut as Barbara Fish this week, and I can’t wait!) I hope OLTL head writer Ron Carlivati, who was in attendance, filed away some notes for a future musical episode featuring Officer Fish coming out with those amazing pipes! Evans’ co-stars and pals, Brett Claywell (Kyle) and Tika Sumpter (Layla) were at the show as well. I told Claywell that Kyle has been much-missed by fans of late, and he laughed that it must mean he’s doing something right. Didn’t get much more than a quick hi with Sumpter, but she looked amazing.
It was a great group of people, coming together for a great cause (the performance benefited the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research) and I’m glad I trekked out to a borough I’d never been to before to be a part of it!
As for planning a big, gay Kish wedding… well, I think the consensus was that the guys should actually get together before anyone starts picking out china patterns! LOL.